Bus Accidents are Especially Dangerous
When you are riding along in a traditional car or SUV or walking beside the road, you are especially vulnerable to injury or even death from a collision with a bus. Buses and other commercial vehicles are heavier than traditional motor vehicles and operate at a greater height, so they often cause significant damage to smaller vehicles. Accidents with large trucks and buses were responsible for 127,000 accidents involving injuries in a recent year, as well as 5,237 fatal crashes.
Not only are other motorists at risk of injuries in a bus crash, but so are passengers. When you are riding a MARTA bus, the chances are slim that you are wearing a seat belt, as they usually aren’t even provided. If a bus crashes, passengers can go flying in all directions, hitting one another or the interior of the bus. This can result in numerous traumatic injuries to many passengers.
Buses are also highly prone to rollover crashes. MARTA buses have a high center of gravity, a narrow wheelbase, and weight that can shift easily (of passengers). All of these factors mean that rollovers are common bus accidents. In a rollover, passengers might fall on top of one another, causing crush injuries, fractures, brain injuries, or other serious conditions.
Because of the severity of these crashes, as well as the complexities discussed above, it is essential that you have an experienced MARTA accident lawyer on your side.
Distracted MARTA Drivers
Distracted driving is engaging in any activity while driving that takes the driver’s attention away from vehicle operation, including texting while driving, eating, reading, or even talking to a passenger. Because MARTA bus and train operators transport people, they are held to an even higher standard of care than other drivers when it comes to avoiding distractions. A distracted MARTA driver can easily cause a crash and injuries to others.
The experienced attorneys from Spaulding Injury Law know how to identify when your case happened due to distracted driving or other driver negligence.
Fatigued MARTA Drivers
Another serious problem with public transportation operation is fatigued driving. Drivers are held to a limited number of hours they can work without proper rest time, but many operators work a shift when they are overtired. When a driver gets behind the controls of a bus or train when fatigued, their reaction times are slowed, making them less able to respond to conditions on the road or to respond to other issues in time to prevent an accident.
Many devastating bus and train crashes have happened across the country due to driver fatigue. Our attorneys review records to see if a MARTA driver was within their hour limitations or if they had other circumstances that caused them to be drowsy.
Damages in a MARTA Accident Case
When you are injured in an accident caused by someone or something else, you are entitled to compensation for your losses. Damages include not only your medical bills, but the impact your injury has on your ability to work and on your life in general.
Damages can be more challenging to calculate than you might imagine. Your past financial losses can be proven through medical bills, pay statements showing lost income, and other receipts. However, it is more difficult to calculate future or intangible damages. For example:
- Future medical bills = This often requires consulting with medical experts who can estimate the costs of the treatment you will need in the future.
- Future lost earnings = If you cannot return to work, can only work part-time, or have to take a lower-paying job because of your injuries, an economic and occupational expert can help determine your future lost earnings.
- Pain and suffering = This type of loss does not have a direct dollar amount, but there are methods of determining the value of your pain and suffering based on the severity of your injuries and economic losses.
Calculating your damages is something that your MARTA accident attorney handles for you. Most injury victims underestimate the value of their claim, but our lawyers will make sure you seek every dollar you deserve. Otherwise, you will be left facing bills you should not have to pay.
Handling Your MARTA Accident Claim
MARTA claims are different from other accident and injury cases. This is because the government oversees MARTA transportation services, so your claim will technically be against a government agency. The law has very different rules and requirements for injury claims against the government, so you want a lawyer who has handled this type of claim before.
First, you have a very limited amount of time to file a claim – much less time than a regular car accident claim. This means as soon as you receive medical care, you should reach out for a consultation with a MARTA attorney.
Our lawyers handle every aspect of your MARTA claim. We know how to provide notice to MARTA and pursue a claim following all proper procedures. Often, the first offer is very low, and we will advise you when you should hold out for a higher amount. We can provide additional information and negotiate with insurance companies until you get enough to cover your losses.
You never want to face MARTA alone to file a claim. Instead, get an advocate who will protect your rights as soon as possible. Spaulding Injury Law is ready to assist you.
Our Approach To MARTA Injury Claims
From the moment we are hired to represent you in your injury claim, we get to work the same day to accomplish two immediate goals:
- Put MARTA on notice to preserve all evidence that could conceivably be related to your incident; and
- Secure and collect all evidence to not only prove that MARTA was negligent in causing your injuries but to present the most compelling case possible in court.
Notice To Preserve Evidence
We accomplish this goal by immediately getting out what is called a Spoliation of Evidence Letter to headquarters identifying your specific incident and listing categories of evidence we expect MARTA to preserve. This is important for two reasons:
- MARTA controls all or almost all of the evidence needed to prove its negligence; and
- Once a proper notice is sent, Atlanta law protects you from any failure on MARTA’s part to properly preserve that evidence.
Different Types of MARTA Cases
MARTA BUS ACCIDENTS:
One of the more common types of cases we handle against MARTA are wrecks and accident injuries caused by a MARTA driver striking another vehicle. Every day there hundreds of MARTA buses on the highways and surface streets in and around downtown Atlanta.
There are a few things to keep in mind if you have been injured in a bus accident with a MARTA bus. First, trying to work with MARTA to get just compensation is not likely working with Allstate or State Farm in a typical car accident claim. MARTA, in our experience, tends to fight these claims much harder making it more likely that you will need to retain an experienced lawyer.
Second, in every wreck involving MARTA, an investigator from MARTA will quickly arrive at the scene to start gathering evidence. He or she will talk to passengers on the bus; the driver of the bus; you and your passengers; and will take photographs of all vehicles involved.
Third, there will be video evidence of the wreck. Every bus has cameras pointing in front and behind the bus as well on both sides of the bus. A good example of how important this to your case can be found in a recent case we have been involved in. In it, our client was turning left at a light across oncoming traffic that also had a light.
As he made his turn, a MARTA bus entered the intersection and t-boned my client’s vehicle. My client said he had a green light and the MARTA bus driver said she had the green light. The investigating officer at the scene gave both a ticket for running a red light because he could not figure out who was telling the truth. Guess what? We requested the video from the bus and the front camera captured it all!!! The MARTA bus driver was lying. She clearly ran the red light.
MARTA TRAIN AND PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS:
These incidents usually entail injury to a pedestrian either being struck by a MARTA train or bus or a MARTA passenger being injured while riding or exiting a train. As you can imagine, these types of incidents are not as common but are equally as devastating.
Much like MARTA bus accidents, these incidents often are captured by cameras in and around the trains or platforms involved. Securing this evidence is vital to establishing MARTA’s fault, especially in pedestrian accidents.
ELEVATOR/ESCALATOR & OTHER PROPERTY ACCIDENTS:
These incidents involve injury at one of MARTA’s many train or bus stations or terminals. They can also involve injuries sustained in MARTA parking lots across Atlanta.
As you can imagine, an elevator or escalator accident often involves the use of experts to determine what caused the elevator or escalator to malfunction causing injury. Often it is due to poor maintenance by MARTA and its maintenance contractors.
Other property incidents causing injury that may be the fault of MARTA include slip, trip and fall hazards in and around MARTA’s stations, terminals and parking lots. Atlanta law requires MARTA, like any property owner, to maintain its property and to keep it reasonably free of hazards.
This type of incident is a unique type of injury or death claim that can potentially be pursued against MARTA. It involves someone committing a crime against another on MARTA’s property that it should have protected its patrons against.
These incidents often include such things as robberies, gun violence, assaults, batteries, rape and other crimes against another. Many MARTA stations and terminals are know by MARTA to be in high crime areas and thus putting MARTA on notice that it needs to provide reasonable security.
Secure and Collect Evidence
There is good news here for MARTA injury victims. Because MARTA is a semi-public transit authority, it is subject to Atlanta’s Open Records Act. This means, unlike when you are facing a private corporation, you can request all evidence it has related to your incident and by law, MARTA must produce it to you.
You just need to know what to ask for. For example, in a MARTA bus accident, there should be video from the bus; pictures of the damage to the vehicles involved; and witness statements taken by MARTA’s investigator that always comes to the scene of MARTA wrecks just to name a few.
What Does It Cost To Hire A MARTA Injury Lawyer?
We handle MARTA injury claims and cases no different from other personal injury matters. You owe nothing up front and during our pursuit of your claim or case.
Instead, we handle these cases on what is called a contingency fee. Our fees are paid out of your settlement or verdict on a percentage of what was recovered. If nothing is recovered you do not owe us any attorneys’ fees.
You also do not owe anything during the pursuit of your case against MARTA for the expenses involved. Our firm covers all of those expenses (for example: cost to secure evidence; take depositions or to hire experts) up front and received reimbursement for them out of a settlement or verdict in your case.
What Can You Do To Protect Your Rights?
Connect with a MARTA Accident Attorney from Spaulding Injury Law Now
If you’ve been injured in any type of MARTA accident, having an experienced attorney on your side will help your claim. Incomplete compensation could leave you and your family having to pay many bills associated with your injuries out of pocket in the future. With the assistance of a MARTA accident lawyer from Spaulding Injury Law, you can focus on recovering from your injuries while we focus on making the most of your compensation.
For a risk-free consultation on your case, schedule a case evaluation with Spaulding Injury Law today.
Our Personal Injury Office in Atlanta
Spaulding Injury Law: Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer is located close to you, in Downtown Atlanta near Woodruff Park and Hurt Park, approximately 9 miles from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).
Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers Merge onto I-85 N from the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and take Exit 246 toward downtown. Merge onto Central Avenue SW and continue onto Peachtree Center Avenue SE. Turn left onto Edgewood Avenue, and our office will be on the left.